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larose forest photos | all galleries >> INSECTS (INSECTA) (25 Galleries) >> Eggs, Exuviae, Pupal Cases and Other Signs of Insects and Spiders >> Cocoons, Pupae and Larval Cases > Cecropia moth cocoon (Hyalophora cecropia)
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Cecropia moth cocoon (<em>Hyalophora cecropia</em>)
17-JAN-2013 Christine Hanrahan

Cecropia moth cocoon (Hyalophora cecropia)

It was a crisp, cold day (-16, -25 with the windchill) and the snow with its hard crust was easy to walk on, so I walked into a thicket of speckled alder looking for a cecropia moth cocoon to photograph, and found one quite soon. The moth that makes this large cocoon (several inches in diameter) is a giant silkworm moth, and is spectacular as both an adult (the size of a hand) and as a caterpillar. The cocoon is made from a papery type silk, and you can see that some leaves have been incorporated into it. Some cocoons are elongate and more slender, but most are like this. It appeared to be torn at the top, and unfortunately, predators will feed on the larva inside. Still, I plan to go back in mid May and see if I can see an adult. The adults have no mouth parts as they don't feed, being born only to breed and then die. Their feeding comes when they are caterpillars. I often see them on alder, and that is no surprise as one of the preferred foods of the caterpillar is alder.

To see the brightly coloured caterpillar that spins this cocoon:

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
1/320s f/8.0 at 4.3mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Kevin Warren22-May-2013 15:48
I admire this image and also your efforts in finding it, it's beautiful against that cold winter blue sky!
Fabienne21-May-2013 19:14
Ce cocon est impressionnant. C'est une excellente image.
Carl Carbone22-Jan-2013 02:17
Neat find!
Graeme18-Jan-2013 20:23
Absolutely fascinating source of information about this moth and its cocoon, Christine.BBV
janescottcumming18-Jan-2013 18:20
Beautifully presented and great information. I'll be waiting to see what the spring brings. V
Margot W18-Jan-2013 16:20
I quite often have to tell myself that we live in the same country.
Your searching out, with your camera, and finding what most of us never see or know is amazing.
Thanks Christine.
Chris(tine)18-Jan-2013 16:19
That's pretty impressive, would love to see the adult if you manage to find one.
globalgadabout18-Jan-2013 14:41
a well-wrapped lunch awaiting the predators...good luck in May, as the moths sound fascinating too..
The Heritage man18-Jan-2013 14:21
Great find Christine, never seen anything like it.
Jim Coffman18-Jan-2013 13:59
A very nice capture of this cocoon!!
Terry Sprague18-Jan-2013 12:32
Excellent find and info. Thanks! V
Ulla Kruys18-Jan-2013 12:23
What an amazing find - and in the middle of winter.v
Marcia Colelli18-Jan-2013 11:53
Nice find, wonderful information. I learn so much when I visit your pictures V
Yvonne18-Jan-2013 08:01
Superbly captured Christine! v
MarcViskens18-Jan-2013 07:56
very nice Christine
well done and thanks for the text
joseantonio18-Jan-2013 05:10
As always amazing nature lesson.Thank you.V
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